Speakers 2023

Adolfo Cerqueda Rebollo – Mexico

Panelist “From candidate to elected official – lessons learned”.

Mayor of Nezahualcóyotl

In 2021, he was elected as the Mayor of Nezahualcóyotl, a municipality in the State of Mexico. He is the first openly gay Mayor in Mexico. Ontological Coach. Political Coach. Public Image Advisor. He studied Political Science at the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico. In his youth, he was a young revolutionary and also a member of various musical theater companies. He promotes awareness of Tourette’s syndrome. Director of the Gay Choir of Mexico City.

Alberto de Belaunde – Perú

Panelist Summit: “Combating Hate Speech”

Program advisor – Global Advocacy at Outright International

LGBTIQ activist. Former Peruvian congressman, the second openly gay in the history of Peru. He works as the Global Advocacy Officer at Outright International, a global organization with over 30 years of work in support of LGBTIQ rights. He is a lawyer and university professor.

Aldo Iván Dávila Morales – Guatemala

Simultaneous Session 4c: “Political Violence as a Coordinated Strategy against LGBTIQ+ Leadership”

Member of the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala

Member of the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala for the 2020-2024 term, becoming the first openly gay congressman who has worked for the respect and guarantee of human rights for all in Guatemala. He was the director of the Positive People Association since 2010, fighting for the rights of people living with HIV, the LGBTIQ+ community, etc. In 2015, he strongly protested against corruption and impunity in Guatemala through constant demonstrations against the government of former President Otto Pérez Molina.

Alejandra Parra – México

Workshop Session “Creating Political Campaigns”

Political Scientist/ Part of the Update Institute team

She is a political scientist from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM). She coordinated the campaign of Pedro Kumamoto, who achieved the first independent local deputy position in Mexico in 2015. In 2018, she coordinated the campaign of a network of 14 independent candidacies known as “Vamos a Reemplazarles,” including Pedro Kumamoto’s candidacy for the Senate.

In Mexico, she was a co-founder of Wikipolítica and La Ocupación, a festival that brought together progressive political initiatives from across the country, and managed one of the most impactful national political advocacy initiatives, #SinVotoNoHayDinero. As a speaker, trainer, and lecturer, she has focused on political innovation, youth, and electoral campaigns throughout the Americas – from presentations to international workshops – in places such as Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Lima. She is currently part of the Instituto Update team in Brazil, where she coordinates various projects throughout the region and is a co-founder of Momento.

Alexa Malony Chávez Ruíz – Ecuador

Plenary Session C: “Promoting Trans Leadership in Agenda Setting”

President of the first union of transgender sex workers and related individuals in Ecuador

Malony Chávez is the president of transgender sex workers in Quito (aso.tst.uio), president of the first union of transgender sex workers and related individuals in Ecuador (Furia Trans), member of Coccinelli (the first organization to decriminalize homosexuality in the country), and a person who fights for the rights of the transgender population in Ecuador.

Whore, transvestite, and transfeminist.

Alexander Mundaray Rosario – Republica Dominicana y Puerto Rico

Panelist Session “Political Violence as a Coordinated Strategy against LGBTIQ+ Leadership”

Communication specialist

Alex Mundaray, human rights activist, trained psychologist, and practicing communicator. He holds a specialization in political advocacy and state reform from the Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo (INTEC). With over 13 years of experience as a communicator, he has served as an analyst and strategist for environmentalist, LGBTI, disability, anti-corruption, and other coalitions, social movements, and political groups in both the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

Alexandra Benitez Condiza – Colombia

Simultaneous Session 1c: Workshop – “Inaugural Trans Leadership Congress”


Activist and human rights defender for the realities and life experiences of trans and non-binary people in Colombia. Researcher and psychologist at the Caribe Afirmativo Corporation. She is also a co-founder of the Trans Memorial Collective, a local reference for training and psychosocial support for young trans people in the city of Bogotá.

She is a member of the Comprehensive Trans Law platform in Colombia, a coalition made up of over 100 trans organizations, activists, and social leaders from across the country.

Alhelí Partida Rodríguez – Mexico

Plenary Session F: “Announcement of the Next Conference”

Senior Director of Global Programs

Alhelí is a prominent international lawyer and human rights advocate, currently serving as the Senior Director of Global Programs at Victory Institute. Her deep knowledge of the Inter-American Human Rights System has led her to collaborate with various organizations in the fight against human rights violations, using legal strategies and jurisdictional tools to ensure justice.

In Mexico, Alhelí has worked as a legal consultant on gender issues and as a legal advisor in the local Congress, bringing her expertise to the promotion of inclusive policies and the protection of people’s rights. Her academic background includes a Master’s degree in International Law and International Organizations from the Sorbonne University in Paris, France, which has provided her with a global perspective in her human rights advocacy work.

Amaranta Gómez Regalado – Mexico

Workshop Facilitator “Trans Innovations to Transform Vulnerabilities into Political Power”

Muxhe, Zapotec from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca. Activist and social anthropologist.

Amaranta Gómez Regalado is a Muxhe, a Zapotec person from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca. She has been an activist and social anthropologist for over 20 years, working locally, regionally, and internationally in areas such as health, sexuality, human rights, and cultural promotion. She is a member of the International Work Group for the Prevention of HIV/AIDS in Indigenous Communities. She served as co-director of the International Trans Fund (2014-2017). She is currently a citizen assembly member of the National Council for the Prevention and Elimination of Discrimination (CONAPRED) and co-secretary of the Mexican LGBTI+ Coalition. She is also a citizen assembly member of the Semillas Fund, working towards better economic access for women. She is a lecturer for the Indigenous Experts Program at Carlos III University in Madrid, Spain.

Ana Eugenia Rodríguez Valdez – Mexico

Panelist Session “Trans Innovations to Transform Vulnerabilities into Political Power”

Councilor of the Municipality of Monterrey

Communicator and human rights activist. Founder of Casa Trans Mty Ac, the LGBT Citizens’ Council, and participant in LGBTQ+ student collectives. She was elected as a councilor of the Municipality of Monterrey for the Citizen Movement party. Her victory as the first trans woman to hold a public office in the state of Nuevo León is a historic achievement in one of the most conservative states in Mexico, where discrimination based on race, ethnicity, and gender is among the highest in Latin America.

Ana Francis Mor – Mexico

Reception I. Welcome to Mexico!

Deputy of Mexico City

Deputy for CDMX, Ana Francis Mor is the president of the Equality Commission. She has an artistic background and is a feminist activist. She is an expert in Human Rights. She advocates for the rights of women and LGBTQI+ individuals. She is the author of two books, The Good Lesbian Handbook volumes 1 and 2, and the novel What I Dreamed While You Were Sleeping, which premiered as a play under the title To Dream That We Are Not Fleeing.

Andrés Cancimance López – Colombia

Panelist Plenary Session “Political Contexts of Inequality and Intersectionality”

Congressman of the Republic – House of Representatives

Andrés Cancimance López: Ph.D. in Anthropology and Social Worker from the National University of Colombia. He obtained a Master’s degree in Political Science from the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences, Ecuador. His academic training and professional experience in research and teaching have focused on topics such as Historical Memory, Human Rights, social movements, forced migration, psychosocial care, and comprehensive reparation for victims of sociopolitical violence in Colombia, as well as deepening the organizational and community processes of displaced populations. He has provided support to different population and ethnic groups, such as women in situations of forced displacement, children in the process of re-signifying their experiences of grief, and grassroots organizations of displaced people. He has also worked as a university lecturer. In 2012, he received the national award “Pioneers of Anthropology in Colombia in homage to Milciades Chaves Chamorro and Miguel Fornaguera Pineda” from the Colombian Institute of Anthropology and History-ICANH to carry out fieldwork for his doctoral thesis, and in the same year, the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University (United States) invited him to conduct an academic internship that lasted one academic semester. He was recognized as the top graduate of the Faculty of Human Sciences at the National University of Colombia. He is the author of the book “Taking Root Amidst the Armed Conflict. Everyday Resistance of Farmers in Putumayo.” He is a member of the Research Group on Social Conflict and Violence at the Center for Social Studies (CES) of the National University of Colombia. He is currently a Representative in the House of Representatives of the Colombian Congress.

Andrés Treviño LunaMéxico

Panelist Plenary Session “Anticipating What Awaits Us in the Next 2 Years”

Director of Sexual Diversity of the Government of Jalisco

A human rights defender from Guadalajara, focused on promoting public policies of inclusion, equality, and non-discrimination for the LGBTQ+ population. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and a Bachelor’s degree in Law from ITESO. He specialized in public policy design at the Institute of Public Policy Research and Government at the University of Guadalajara.

He has participated in various civil society organizations defending human rights, and has served as a public policy advisor for local governments and legislators. At the time of this publication, he is the Director of Sexual Diversity of the Government of Jalisco, where he has promoted the implementation of a Mechanism for Attention to Victims of Discrimination (MAViD), the recognition of the right to gender identity for transgender children and adolescents, the prohibition of conversion therapies, and the guarantee of civil rights such as marriage equality and adoption without discrimination.

Ari Vera Morales – Mexico

Simultaneous Session 1a: “Regional Mapping of the LGBTQ Participation Status in Recent Elections”

Co-Secretary ILGALAC

Ari Vera, Master in Human Rights Defense and Promotion from the Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México. Co-Secretary of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association for Latin America and the Caribbean (ILGA LAC) and member of the Advisory Assembly of the Council to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination of Mexico City (COPRED). Founder of the International Network “Corpora en Libertad” and President of Almas Cautivas, organizations dedicated to the protection and defense of LGBT people in detention. She is also the President of the Mexican Federation of LGBT Entrepreneurs, which specializes in creating discrimination-free workspaces. A defining thought for her is: “Even in the darkest places like prisons, dignity, respect, and love must always be guaranteed.”

Benny Briolly Rosa da Silva Santos – Brasil

Panelist Plenary Session “Political Violence as a Coordinated Strategy against LGBTIQ+ Leadership”


Benny Briolly is the first transgender councilwoman to hold office in the City Council of Niterói, in the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro. With 4,458 votes, she was the most voted woman to occupy a seat in the Legislative Chamber. Benny is one of the most important symbols of the struggle of the working people, religious freedom, women, the Black community, and all oppressed and marginalized populations.


Bruno Mauricio Montenegro Mamani – Perú

Plenary C: “Promoting Trans Leadership in Agenda Setting”

Social Communicator

Bruno Mauricio Montenegro Mamani is a Social Communicator from the National University of San Agustín de Arequipa. He is the Coordinator and President of Fraternidad Trans Masculina Perú and Secretary of the Board of Directors of the International Network of American Collectives of Trans Men and Assigned Female at Birth REDCAHT. He played a role in the Trans Reform UNSA, making it the only national university in Peru to recognize the social names of its trans students. He is also a member of the communication team of Más Igualdad Perú. Bruno is from Arequipa and is a Human Rights Defender and Researcher. He has participated in communication campaigns advocating for the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals and has been involved in various national and international spaces to highlight the importance of trans masculinities in the fight for equality.

Caricia López Cabrera – México

Panelist “Trans Innovations to Transform Vulnerabilities into Political Power”

Caricia López Cabrera is a multifaceted muxhe from the municipal agency of Santiago Ixtaltepec, Oaxaca. At the age of 31, she became the first muxhe gunaa (feminine) to hold an elected position. With 70% of the votes from her population of around 1500 inhabitants, she has become the first municipal agent.

Carolina Giraldo – Colombia

Plenary D: “Anticipating What Awaits Us in the Next 2 Years”

Historian and Political Scientist/Representative to the House of Representatives for Risaralda

Historian and Political Scientist/Representative to the House of Representatives for Risaralda

Carolina Giraldo is a historian and political scientist. During her time in the City Council of Pereira, Risaralda, she fought strongly for the environment, fearlessly denounced corruption, and authored the public policy for women that previously did not exist in the city.


In 2018, she led the Anti-Corruption Consultation in her department, providing concrete action for citizens beyond everyday complaints about corruption.


She entered Congress because many of the issues she has promoted in her city require national attention.


In her first year as a Representative to the House of Representatives, she coordinated and promoted the ratification of the Escazú Agreement. She is the author of the proposal to increase taxes on tobacco and vaping products in Colombia which has led to significant corruption allegations related to the allocation of funds from OCAD Paz in her department, involving the Clan del Golfo and traditional senators. She created the first Commission for LGBTIQ+ Diversity in the Congress of the Republic and leads gender issues from the Women’s Commission.


Celeste AscencioMéxico

Panelist Session “Political Innovation and Public Innovation”

Federal Deputy of Mexico

Celeste Ascencio is a prominent activist and federal deputy of the LXV Legislature in the Chamber of Deputies of Mexico. She has been a strong advocate for the rights of indigenous peoples and women. She has also promoted LGBTIQ+ pride in Michoacán and founded Morena in the state. She is the Secretary of the Justice and Environment and Natural Resources Committees and a member of the Sports Committee. During her tenure, she has presented numerous initiatives in favor of sexual diversity and indigenous peoples. At 30 years old, Celeste Ascencio is an tireless fighter for the transformation of the country.

Ces Marianne Badillo Gutiérrez – Colombia

Simultaneous Session 2b: “Observation of Trans Voting and LGBTI Electoral Rights”

Non-binary Activist

Mx. Ces Badillo Gutiérrez is an activist for the rights of LGBTIQ+ individuals, particularly those with non-binary trans life experiences. They are a Master’s student in Political Science at the Universidad de los Andes. They hold a degree in International Relations from the Universidad del Norte and a master’s in international cooperation for development from the University La Sapienza in Rome. Currently, they are the coordinator of human rights and advocacy at the Caribe Afirmativo Corporation in Colombia.

Christian Filip Manzur – Colombia

Plenary E: “How LGBTI Participation Transforms Politics”

Project Coordinator

Christian Filip Manzur is the Colombia Coordinator for the regional project ‘FINTRATA,’ implemented by Lawyers Without Borders Canada. Originally from Mexico, he has a background in Political Economy and has worked with civil society organizations on human rights issues in Latin America and Canada since 2012.

Daiana Silva dos Santos – Brasil

Panelist Session “Political Contexts of Inequality and Intersectionality”

Federal Deputy Brazil

Daiana Santos is a federal deputy from the state of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, serving in the 57th Legislature. In 2022, she became the first black and lesbian woman elected to the Chamber of Deputies in Brazil. She was the first lesbian councilwoman in Porto Alegre from 2020 to 2022. She is a sanitarian and social educator.

Danne Aro Belmont Gray – Colombia

Summit: “Combating Hate Speech”

Executive Director, GAAT Foundation

Danne Aro Belmont Gray is the Executive Director of the Grupo de Acción y Apoyo a Personas con Experiencias de Vida Trans (GAAT) Foundation. They are a Trans* female activist and survivor of ECOSIEG, a form of conversion torture. Since 2009, they have been a leader in youth and university projects for LGBTI social sectors at Kennedy and the National University of Colombia (GAEDSUN) and the Francisco José de Caldas District University (Udesigual). They lead projects related to sexual and reproductive health, HIV, TB, deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals, and sex workers. They are currently part of the Citizen Oversight of the National LGBTI Public Policy, the Trans Vote Observatory for Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Platform for the Comprehensive Trans Law. They also serve as an external LGBTIQ+ advisory council member for the Accidental LGBTIQ+ Commission of the Congress of the Republic.

Dominique St Vile – Haiti

Plenary B “Political Contexts of Inequality and Intersectionality” 

Dominique St Vil is a Haitian transgender man. On March 13, 2014, he joined the association Kouraj pou Pwoteje Dwa Moun and has since become a human rights advocate, specifically advocating for LGBTQI+ rights. Dominique has become an important member of the Kouraj association, an essential activist who, through his charisma, commitment, and sense of responsibility in the fight for human rights, has become a founding member of the organization OTRAH (Trans Organization of Haiti) and has held the position of General Coordinator since January 11, 2020. 

Duda Salabert Rosa – Brazil

Plenary A: “Betting on Colorful Exploding Democracies”

Federal Deputy

Duda Salabert is a literature professor, environmentalist, and federal deputy for the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. In 2020, she was elected as a councilwoman in Belo Horizonte, becoming the candidate with the highest number of votes in the city’s history. In 2022, she was the most voted woman in her state for the position of federal deputy and became one of the first two transgender people elected in Brazil. Duda is also the founder of Transvest, a project focused on education and employment opportunities for transgender individuals.

Emma A. Chacón Alvarado – Costa Rica

Simultaneous Session 1b: “Painting Colorful Routes Towards LGBTQ+ Participation”


Emma A. Chacón Alvarado is an open and public Lesbian Feminist, a defender of all human rights, and the founder and coordinator of the Irreversible Lesbian Feminist Collective. With a trajectory of approximately 35 years of active struggle within social movements and political parties, she is a respected figure invited to participate in radio and television programs, academic research, interviews with students from various fields and universities, and print media. She shares her experience as a public lesbian in social movements and political spaces during different electoral processes.

Su trayectoria ronda los 35 años de lucha activa, desde movimientos sociales y partidos políticos. Es una mujer referente invitada a participar en programas radiales, televisivos, investigaciones académicas, entrevistas con estudiantes de diferentes carreras y universidades y medios impresos. Compartiendo su experiencia, como lesbiana pública, en los movimientos sociales, y espacios político partidarios durante diferentes procesos electorales.

Erika Hilton – Brazil

Panelist Plenary Session “How LGBTI Participation Transforms Politics”

Federal Deputy of Brazil

Erika Hilton is the first black and transgender Federal Deputy elected in the history of Brazil. She is recognized as a leader of the new generation by TIME magazine, and she received 256,908 votes in São Paulo.

Ernesto Zelayandia Gonzalez – El Salvador

Plenary Speaker “Observation of Trans Voting and LGBTI Electoral Rights”

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

Ernesto Zelayandía González is a lawyer with the Rapporteurship on the Rights of LGBTI Persons at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. He is a citizen of El Salvador, holds a law degree from the Universidad Centroamericana in San Salvador, a master’s degree in International Human Rights Law from the Central European University in Budapest, and a master’s degree in Human Rights, Sociology, and Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences.


Felipe Estefan – Colombia

Plenary B: “Contexts of Inequality and Intersectionality in Politics”

Vice President, Luminate

Felipe Estefan is an expert in democracy, citizen participation, human rights, and media. He currently serves as Vice President of Luminate, a global foundation working towards building more just societies. He previously worked as a Open Government Strategist at the World Bank and as a Producer at CNN.

Filipa Brunelli – Brasil

Simultaneous Session 3a “From Candidate to Elected Position – Lessons Learned” 

Filipa Brunelli is a councilwoman in Araraquara, São Paulo, Brazil, serving in the 18th legislative term. She is the first transgender person elected in the city and in the Central-East region of the state of São Paulo. She is currently studying sociology and previously worked as an LGBTI+ policy manager in the municipality of Araraquara. 

Franco Fuica – Chile

Simultaneous Session 3c: “Demonstration as an Agent of Political Transformation”

LGBTI Community Engagement Officer of Santiago – National Spokesperson for the Diverse Network of Municipalities

Franco Fuica (he/elle) is a trans activist from Chile and co-founder of the OTD Association. They are part of the LGBTTTI Coalition of the OAS, have served as Co-Chair of the Equal Right Coalition, and represent Trans issues for ILGA LAC. They are currently the LGBTIQ+ Engagement Officer for the Municipality of Santiago and the Diverse Network of Municipalities.


Gabriel Acevero – United States

Simultaneous Session 3a: “From Candidate to Elected Office – Lessons Learned”

State Delegate

Gabriel Acevero is a state delegate from Maryland, United States. In 2018, Delegate Acevero became the first openly gay Afro-Latino and one of the youngest members elected to the Maryland House of Delegates. Since then, he has played a key role in passing legislation on racial justice and protecting the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals.


Genaro Lozano – México

Moderator Plenary Session “Betting on Exploding Democracies in Color”

Journalist, Political Analyst, and Mexican Academic

Genaro Lozano is a Mexican journalist, activist, political analyst, and academic. He is well-known for his participation in debate and news programs and has worked in various media outlets. He was born in Monterrey in 1972, and his critical focus encompasses national and international issues. 

George Albert Hale Garcia – Peru

Moderator Summit “Combating Hate Speech”

Director of Institutional Development

George Albert Hale Garcia is a certified computer engineer and graduate of the Universidad Particular de San Martín de Porras. He was a scholar and graduate of the Master’s program in Gender, Sexuality, and Public Policies at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the National Major University of San Marcos (UNMSM). He is part of the Steering Committee of the LGBTI Litigators Network of the Americas, the Executive Secretary of the Ibero-American Network of LGBTI Education, and the Vice President of the Ethics Committee for Medical Research in Health. 

Gloria Angélica Careaga Pérez – Mexico

Plenary D: “Anticipating What Awaits Us in the Next 2 Years”

General Coordinator of the Arcoíris Foundation

Gloria Angélica Careaga Pérez is a lesbian feminist. She holds a master’s degree in Social Psychology from UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico). She is the General Coordinator of the Arcoíris Foundation and a professor at the Faculty of Psychology of UNAM. She was a co-founder of the University Program for Gender Studies and served as the Deputy Secretary General of ILGA (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association). She has also been the Director of the Sexuality and HIV Program at the National Human Rights Commission. She is recognized for her work in human rights at the local and international levels. 

Grecia Florence Carranza O´Hara – Honduras

Moderator Summit “Combating Hate Speech” + “Promoting Trans Leadership in Agenda Setting 

Communications Officer 

Grecia O’Hara is a communications officer at SOMOS CDC (Center for LGBTI Development and Cooperation). She is an audiovisual producer, content creator, and tattoo artist based in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. She is part of the group of trans individuals monitoring the proposal for reforming the regulations of the National Registry of Persons to recognize the gender identity of trans people through name changes. 

Grecia Galilea Monroy de Leon – Guatemala

Panelist “Observation of Trans Voting and LGBTI Electoral Rights” 

Executive Director of REDMUTRANS

Grecia Galilea Monroy de León is the founder and director of REDMMUTRANS Guatemala since 2011. The network represents trans women from Maya, Garifuna, Xinca, and mestizo backgrounds in 8 departments of the country, promoting social inclusion and advocating for their rights in various national and international spaces. Their work focuses on a multicultural and intercultural approach, recognizing the diverse realities and needs of trans women. 

Jahira Quintero Rodríguez – Colombia

Simultaneous Session 2c: Workshop – “Working/Applying LGBTI Intersectionality Concepts” 

Bachelor’s in Psychopedagogy – Education Advisor 

Jahira Quintero Rodríguez is a person with transgender feminine life experience. They are the Director of Pedagogy at the GAAT Foundation and an advisor on issues related to ethnic, gender, and racial populations for mass media. They are also a television director, presenter, theater actress, and DJ. 

Javier Alberto Constante – Brasil

Plenary D: “Anticipating What Awaits Us in the Next 2 Years” 

President Dow Latin America & Brasil

Javier Constante has been the President of Dow in Brazil and Latin America since late 2019. In 2022, he received the trophy for “Global Advocate of the Year for the LGBTQ+ Community” at the Outie Awards for his leadership in initiatives to include LGBTQIA+ individuals in the job market. He has also been included in the OUTstanding LGBT+ Role Models list of the top 100 outstanding LGBT+ executives for three consecutive years. 

Kenita Placide – Saint Lucia

Panelist Plenary Session “Political Contexts of Inequality and Intersectionality”


Kenita Placide is the Executive Director of the Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality(ECADE). They have advocated around HIV and human rights inclusive of women, youth, and LGBTI issues, for over 18 years and have worn many hats to bring attention and funding to the smaller islands in the eastern part of the Caribbean.


Kenya Cuevas Fuentes – Mexico

Panelist Session “Demonstration as an Agent of Political Transformation” 

Founder and Director of Casa de las Muñecas Tiresias

Kenya Cuevas Fuentes is a renowned trans activist and human rights defender for the LGBTIQ+ community in Mexico. She founded the organization Casa de Muñecas Tiresias, which provides support to transgender people in vulnerable situations. In 2019, she established the first shelter for transgender people in Mexico, Casa Hogar Paola Buenrostro. In 2021, she was named one of the 50 most powerful women in Mexico by Forbes magazine, in recognition of her activism and social struggle as a contribution to transforming the country. 

Luis Carlos Leal Angarita – Colombia

Simultaneous Session 4a: “Political Innovation and Public Innovation” 

Physician/Councilman of Bogotá 

Dr. Luis Carlos Leal is a physician, specializing in General Surgery, and a candidate for a master’s degree in Public Health. He is the first openly gay councilman in the city of Bogotá, Colombia, elected for the 2020-2023 term. 

Luisa Rebeca Garza López – México

Moderator “Painting Routes of Colors towards LGBTIQ+ Participation” 

Panelist “Observation of Trans Voting and LGBTI Electoral Rights” + “Summit Combating Hate Speech” 

Founding member of Queretrans SC Master in Electoral Institutions and Processes

Luisa Rebeca Garza López is a trans woman with 22 years of specialized experience in the integration of polling station boards, promoting civic education and democratic culture from a gender perspective, and currently with an intersectional approach. She is a founding member of QuereTrans SC and the Coordinator of the Trans* Studies Center at QuereTrans SC. In 2023, she competed to join the General Council of the National Electoral Institute. 

Mateo de la Torre – Estados Unidos

Simultaneous Session 1c: Workshop – “Inaugural Congress of Trans Leadership” 

Senior Manager of Global Programs, LGBTQ+ Victory Institute 

Mateo de la Torre is a prominent transgender activist and leader from Tijuana, Mexico. He currently serves as the Senior Manager of Global Programs at the LGBTQ+ Victory Institute, where he coordinates regional projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. He has dedicated his career to addressing important issues affecting transgender individuals, particularly those facing inequalities due to race or socioeconomic status.   

He has a particular focus on the rights of sex workers, police surveillance, and conditions in prisons and detention centers. Previously, he held the position of Director of Advocacy and Policy at Black and Pink, leading the LGBTQ/HIV Criminal Justice National Task Force. He also served as an Advocate for Economic and Racial Justice Policies at the National Center for Transgender Equality.   

Mateo’s work has included organizing national lobbying days, publishing reports on the interactions between transgender and non-binary individuals with law enforcement, co-drafting the first federal bill focused on the health and safety of sex workers in the United States, and leading national outreach strategies with the Latino community for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

Mauricio Toro – Colombia

Simultaneous Session 3b: Workshop – “Public Advocacy” 

President of ICETEX 

Mauricio Toro is a political scientist, specialist in innovation, and master’s degree holder in Business Administration. He was the first openly gay Member of Congress in the Republic elected for the 2018-2022 term. He advanced various initiatives and debates on the rights of the LGBTIQ+ population, including authoring the bill that seeks to ban so-called conversion therapies in Colombia (ECOSIEG). He is currently the President of ICETEX, a Colombian government entity responsible for financing higher education. 

Mtra. Almendra Negrete Sánchez – México

Simultaneous Session 1a: “Regional Mapping of the Status of LGBTQ+ Participation in Recent Elections” 

Chairwoman of the Gender and Family Equality Commission of the State Congress of Sinaloa LXIV Legislature and LGBTTTIQ+ National Secretary of Diversity for Morena 

Almendra Negrete Sánchez holds a law degree from the Escuela Libre de Derecho de Sinaloa. She has a master’s degree in Constitutional Law from the Escuela Libre de Derecho de Sinaloa and another master’s degree in Criminal Procedural Law from INECIPE. She is a doctoral candidate in Law at the Escuela Libre de Derecho de Sinaloa and has extensive professional experience in legal firms and notaries. She served as a Legislative Advisor in the sixty-third legislature of the State Congress of Sinaloa and was a member of the Advisory Council of the State Human Rights Commission. 

 She is currently a professor at the Faculty of Law at UAdeO and SNTE 53 and a Deputy in the sixty-fourth legislature of the State Congress of Sinaloa, where she serves as the Chairwoman of the Gender and Family Equality Commission. She is also the National Secretary of Sexual Diversity for the Morena political party. 

With over 20 years of activism, she is the legal secretary of Sinaloa Incluyente A.C. and a member of the Board of Directors of the Arcoíris A.C. Foundation and the Clóset de Sor Juana A-C., associations dedicated to promoting full citizenship for LGBTI populations. She is currently the President of the Technical Commission on Sexual Diversity for the Morena Movement. 

Maria de los Angeles Palma Maradiaga – Honduras

Summit “Combating Hate Speech” 

My name is María de los Ángeles Palma Maradiaga. I am a lesbian woman, with 95% completion of a degree in Management and Social Development from UMH. With at least 11 years in activism, as a volunteer, advocate, and now working in human rights defense for LGBTQ+ people, I am currently part of the SOMOSCDC Team as the Manager of the Participation and Political Advocacy Program. 

Natasha Jiménez Mata – Costa Rica

Plenary E: “How LGBTI participation transforms politics”.

General Coordinator

Natasha Jiménez, a Costa Rican trans/intersex activist for over 35 years. She has studied web design and graphic design. She began her work in the field of HIV/AIDS and other STIs information and prevention, including providing care for people in the terminal stage of AIDS in different state hospitals. She identifies as a feminist and has participated in various initiatives of the feminist and women’s movement. She has also supported different organizations that have worked on the rights of gays and lesbians and has been part of publications such as “What’s the point of a revolution if we can’t dance,” “Interdictions,” and “INTER/Intersex Human Experience in a World of Two Sexes.”

She has been involved in various spaces within the Organization of American States (OAS), where she has Consultative Status, as well as the United Nations (UN), advocating for political influence and denouncing violations of the rights of trans and intersex populations in Latin America and other regions.

Currently, she works as a consultant on trans and intersex issues and serves as the General Coordinator of Mulabi/Latin American Space for Sexualities and Rights, which is based in Costa Rica but carries out projects and initiatives in the region. She previously served as the Secretary General of ILGALAC (2019) and held the Intersex Secretary position at ILGA World. She is also a board member of the Trans International Fund and a counselor for the International Intersex Human Rights Fund.

Osmin David Valle Castillo – Honduras

Cumbre: “Combatiendo Discursos de Odio”

Gerente de Programas Director en Funciones Honduras

Lcdo. David Valle, Licenciado en Gerencia y Desarrollo Social. posee 23 años de trabajo como activista y defensor de los DDHH de las personas LGTBI, Gerente de programas y Director en Funciones en Honduras del Centro para el Desarrollo y la Cooperación LGTBI -SOMOS CDC- fue de los primeros aspirantes abiertamente LGTBI al cargo de Diputado al Congreso Nacional de Honduras en las elecciones 2012 y 2017

Patria Jiménez Flores – México

Plenary A: “Betting on democracies bursting with color”

First openly lesbian woman to become a Federal Deputy in Mexico.

Social activist for 41 years in the defense of LGBTI+ rights and women’s rights. She has served as a Federal Deputy (the first openly lesbian Mexican) and Substitute Senator. From 1979 to 2019, she was part of the organizing committee for the LGBTI+ Pride March held annually in Mexico City. Various national and international organizations have recognized her career and awarded her honorable distinctions, such as the “Truth to Power” award from the Kennedy Foundation for her contribution to humanitarian causes. She was honored as one of the 100 heroines of the world for her work in favor of women’s human rights and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 as part of the “1000 Women for Peace” initiative. She participated in the last electoral process as a candidate for the Citizen’s Movement in Mexico City. She is a member of the board of the Arcoiris A.C. Foundation and the Clóset de Sor Juana A-C, associations dedicated to promoting the full exercise of citizenship for LGBTI populations. She currently serves as the President of the Technical Commission on Sexual Diversity for the Citizen’s Movement.

Patricia Borges da Silva – Brasil

Plenary C “Boosting Trans Leadership in the Creation of Participation Agendas” 

A black woman, transgender, poet, cultural producer, coordinator in the education and culture sectors in the Transformação collective. An activist for the trans and travesti cause, she is a member and leader in the collectives and initiatives: Marcha de las Mujeres Negras de SP, Founder of PoupaTrans of Bazar das Poderosas, Vote LGBT, Casa Flores, and Transarau. She has worked as a political coordinator and parliamentary advisor to current federal congresswoman Erika Hilton when she was a councilwoman in the city of São Paulo. 

Pilar Rojas Salas – Perú

Panelist Session “Painting Routes of Colors towards LGBTIQ+ Participation” 

Specialist in political participation

Pilar Rojas Salas holds a master’s degree in Comparative Public Policies from FLACSO Mexico. With 12 years of professional experience in the public and private sectors, she has carried out various political advocacy processes related to the rights of LGBTQ+ people and women. She has conducted research on political participation, migration, family policies, and the electoral behavior of LGBTQ+ people. 

Pluvia María Astete Muñoz – Perú

Panelist Summit “Combating Hate Speech” 

Consultant / Researcher

Pluvia Astete is a feminist and activist for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community and sexual dissidents. With extensive experience in third-sector organizations and conducting research to vindicate the politicization of identities and cultural practices that question heterosexuality as a hegemonic social norm. 

Rosanna Marzan – República Dominicana

Moderator Plenary: “Political Violence as a Coordinated Strategy against LGBTIQ+ Leadership” + Summit: “Combating Hate Speech” 


Rosanna Marzan is a lesbian, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, lawyer by profession, and defender of rights by passion. She has been leading Diversidad Dominicana since 2011, advocating for the enjoyment, respect, and reduction of hate speech, prejudice, violence, and murders of LGBTQ+ individuals in the Dominican Republic. 

Salma Luevano Luna – México

Speaker “Summit: Elected Positions” + Plenary: “Betting on Exploding Democracies in Color 

Federal Deputy of Aguascalientes for Morena

Salma Luévano Luna is the first proudly transgender deputy to hold a federal position in Mexico and Latin America through rainbow quotas. As the President of the Association “Juntes por el Camino de la Diversidad,” she has led strategic litigation efforts that have allowed for the inclusion of marginalized groups in the exercise and enjoyment of their political and electoral rights, thereby wresting their rights from positions of power.  

Since arriving in the Chamber of Deputies, she has presented initiatives on sexual diversity, implemented open parliament as a working axis through forums and ongoing digital surveys, and engaged with LGBTTTIQ+ civil society organizations. She has given numerous talks on the rights of marginalized groups both nationally and internationally. Her outstanding work led to her current position as the President of the Diversity Commission, which, for the first time in the history of that Chamber, is an independent commission. 

She promoted the first Declaration on Political and Electoral Rights of the LGBTTTIQ+ Population in the Americas, which involved experts from more than 17 countries. The document presents a series of principles to be respected in favor of sexual diversity. 


Symmy Larrat  – Brasil

Plenary D “Anticipating What Awaits Us in the Next 2 Years” 

A travesti, feminist sex worker, and LGBTQIA+ activist. She is currently the National Secretary for LGBTQIA+ Rights in the Ministry of Human Rights and Citizenship of the Lula Government. She was the president of the Brazilian Association of Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Travestis, Transsexuals, and Intersex (ABGLT) and held the position of national LGBTQIA+ manager in Dilma’s government, where she implemented the Transcidadania program in the city of São Paulo during Haddad’s government. This program was the first intersectional public policy for transgender people in the country and has received international recognition. 

Santiago Balvin Gutierrez – Perú

Panelist “Observation of Trans Voting and LGBTI Electoral Rights” + “Demonstration as an Agent of Political Transformation” 

Researcher and General Coordinator of Rosa Rabiosa 

Santiago Bálvin Gutiérrez is a transmasculine non-binary activist and researcher. They are the General Coordinator of the trans-feminist collective Rosa Rabiosa and the Latin American and Caribbean Observatory on Trans Political and Electoral Rights. 

Saruy Tolosa – Colombia

Simultaneous Session 1a: “Regional Mapping of the Status of LGBTQ+ Participation in Recent Elections” 

Project Officer, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung 

Saruy has been the coordinator for Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Colombia since 2012 in the areas of political participation of population groups, monitoring the implementation of peace agreements, and the construction of a culture of peace. He is also responsible for analyzing dynamics of violence and governance, supporting and promoting social leadership initiatives and human rights. He holds a master’s degree in Cultural Studies from the Universidad de Los Andes. He previously studied Political and Social Sciences at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia and was a Visiting Scholar at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in New York City. 

Sean Meloy – USA

Panelist “Regional Mapping of the Status of LGBTQ+ Participation in Recent Elections” 

Vice President of Political Programs 

Sean Meloy is the Vice President of Political Programs at the LGBTQ+ Victory Fund, where he has led the effort to double the number of LGBTQ+ elected officials in the United States to over 1,000 in the past six years. Sean was born and raised in Pittsburgh, where he currently resides. He recently ran for the U.S. Congress to advance Victory Fund’s mission. He has previously worked on U.S. Congressional campaigns, served as the LGBTQ+ Outreach Director at the Democratic Party (DNC), and worked at nonprofit advocacy groups. 

Sol Ámbar Sánchez Latorre – Colombia

Simultaneous Session 2b: “Observation of Trans Voting and LGBTI Electoral Rights” 

Advocacy Coordinator 

Ámbar Sánchez Latorre is a sociologist and activist for gender and sexuality justice. They have been involved in different organizational processes at the local, national, and Latin American levels. Currently, they work as a political advocacy coordinator for the Trans Action and Support Group (GAAT) Foundation. 

Susel Ana Maria Paredes Piqué – Peru 

Panelist “Summit: Combating Hate Speech” + Plenary: “Political Contexts of Inequality and Intersectionality 

Member of the Congress of the Republic of Peru 

Susel Paredes Piqué is a Member of the Congress of the Republic of Peru. She is the first openly lesbian woman in Peruvian political history and the woman with the highest number of votes in the 2021 parliamentary elections. Upon taking office, she exclaimed, “For equality. Yes, I swear!” She is a lawyer from the Universidad de San Marcos, a prosecutor, activist, and actress. Congresswoman Paredes Piqué has been carrying out her work with a vocation of service to the citizenry, the community, and the collective interest of a more just, free, and egalitarian society. 


Taliana Gómez Oliveros – Colombia

Summit: “Elected Positions” 

Anthropologist, Master’s Degree in Sustainable Territorial Development 

Taliana Gómez Oliveros is the first transgender woman elected in 2019 by popular vote until 2023 as the Councilor for the Alianza Verde party in District 2, Historical Rodrigo de Bastidas, in the city of Santa Marta. 

Tamara Adrián – Venezuela

Plenary C: “Boosting Trans Leadership in the Creation of Participation Agendas” 

Presidential Candidate, Doctor 

Tamara Adrián is a lawyer and holds a doctorate in law. She is a university professor at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. She was the first transgender woman elected to a parliament and the first trans candidate for the presidency of a country. 

Temístocles Villanueva – México

Moderator “From Candidate to Elected Position – Lessons Learned” 

Speaker “Summit: Elected Positions” 

Deputy of the Congress of Mexico City for Morena

Temístocles Villanueva is an openly gay deputy in the II Legislature of the Congress of Mexico City for Morena. He represents the citizens of the Cuauhtémoc borough and is the President of the Political-Electoral Affairs Commission. This is his second term as a deputy, and he continues to promote an agenda focused on guaranteeing the rights of priority attention groups, respecting human dignity, and human rights. 

Tiara Nicol Bustillo Barrientos – Honduras

Simultaneous Session 1c: Workshop – “Inaugural Congress of Trans Leadership” 

Tiara Barrientos is a 25-year-old transgender woman, activist, and human rights defender for the LGBTQ+ population in Honduras. She is the coordinator of the National Network of Trans Women and Men SOMOS TRANS in Honduras and the coordinator of the national access to justice table for the LGBTQ+ population. 

Wendy Briceño Zuloaga – Mexico

Panelist Session “Political Contexts of Inequality and Intersectionality” 

Secretary of Social Development in the Government of Sonora

Wendy Briceño Zuloaga has a master’s degree in Gender Studies, Political Processes, and Cultural Transformations from El Colegio de México. She has served as a public servant at the federal and municipal levels. As a Federal Deputy, she chaired the Gender Equality Commission (2018-2021) and was reelected. She is currently the Secretary of Social Development in the Government of Sonora. 

Wilson de Jesús Castañeda Castro – Colombia

Plenary E: “How LGBTI participation transforms politics”.

PhD in Philosophy

Wilson Castañeda, political scientist and doctor in philosophy. For more than 20 years he has worked for the rights of LGBTIQ+ people and territorial peacebuilding, 13 of these years as director of Caribe Afirmativo. He accompanied the Gender Subcommission in the Havana dialogues. Currently, she is part of the Monitoring Committee of the recommendations of the Commission for the Clarification of the Truth, Coexistence, and Non-Repetition of the armed conflict in Colombia. He is also a university professor and advisor to the United Nations on issues of gender, diversity and peace.

About Caribe Afirmativo, is an organization that works for the rights of LGBTIQ+ people in Colombia. It currently has eight houses in the Colombian territory, from which it develops projects of legal, psychosocial, community work, cultural and artistic activities with LGBTIQ+ people.

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